Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, received the top grade from the state’s Conservative Party in its annual report card today, voting with the party on 19 of the 24 votes it monitored during the legislative session.
Ball, a freshman senator, earned a score of 80 from the Conservative Party. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, received a 60.
In the Assembly, two freshman Republicans earned the highest score of 92 — Donald Miller, R-Clay, Onondaga County, and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R-New Hartford, Oneida County. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, earned a score of 16.
“The ratings give voters a scorecard on how their individual legislator voted and how many times they force local governments – reeling from unfunded mandates – to raise taxes or nanny state proposals that interfere in how we choose to live our lives,” said state party chairman Mike Long in a statement.
The party based its grade on 24 bills and counted the vote to legalize same-sex marriage twice. For each vote supported by the party, a lawmaker received 4 points; for the same-sex marriage vote, a “no” vote received 8 points.
The Conservative Party vehemently fought the same-sex marriage bill, only to see it pass both the Assembly and Senate. It passed the Senate 33-29, with four Republicans voting for it. Ball had indicated he was initially undecided on the issue, but voted against it because he said it didn’t have enough religious protections for businesses who didn’t want to recognize same-sex couples.
The party said the Legislature voted for more conservative-backed bills than in the past. The overall rating in the Republican-led Senate was 51, up 13 percent from 2010. Republicans gained control of the chamber in January after two years of a Democratic majority.
In the Democratic-led Assembly, the overall rating of 36.5 was up 9.3 percent from 2010.
The Conservative Party backed the 2011-12 state budget, which cut spending for the first time in more than a decade. It also backed new ethics reforms that lawmakers adopted.
Interestingly, though, the party didn’t support the property tax cap that was adopted into law, saying in its ratings that it opposed the override provision, expanded rent control laws for New York City and the lack of mandate relief for local governments.